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Changing a Caravan Tyre

An often neglected, and forgotten task. Changing a caravan tyre!
If you are unfortunate enough to suffer a flat tyre, can you cope?!
(And we don't mean cheating by calling the AA!) Provided you have
the right equipment and knowledge you won't have a problem.

TOP TIP: Make sure you practice jacking up you caravan at home,
at your own pace. Then should the worst come to the worst and you
need to change a wheel in anger, you will know what you are doing.


The Jack!
Whatever type of jack you choose, it must be capable of being fitted
under the proper lifting point determined by the caravan manufacturer.
You can find this information in your caravan handbook! Remember that
this lifting point will be some 3 or 4 inches closer to the ground if
a tyre is flat, so make an allowance for this. Also, any jack with a
small base area will need a support board beneath it if being used on
soft ground, so make allowance for the thickness of the board.
"Scissors" type jacks often appear to offer the advantage of a low
retracted height, but it must be remembered that they are not capable
of exerting any upward force when fully closed. They must be opened to
a minimum height before they can lift, so make sure that this height
is within the clearance available.

Wheel Chocks
Caravan handbrakes cannot be relied upon to work in reverse. This is
because of the design of the automatic reversing mechanism, which
prevents the overrun braking system operating when reversing. As a
result, if the caravan is unhitched from the towing vehicle whilst
the rig is facing uphill, the caravan may (and probably will) run
away backwards. Most designs provide a technique to override this
situation, but many owners do not seem to master the technique, and
only discover this when it is too late.

A selection of blocks or boards for placing under the wheels
Whilst we all endeavour to find the most level site, there are times
when such a thing does not exist. If we want the cooking pots to be
level, and we don't want to be rolling out of bed all night long, then
the caravan must be levelled properly. Although there are proprietary
devices available for this, many of us use blocks or boards under the
wheels to achieve a level position. A hessian backed wool carpet square
(2' x 2') is a very useful thing to have for many purposes.

A spare wheel
Often missing when you purchase a caravan. Make sure that it is
inflated to the correct pressure!

A wheel brace
Removing wheel nuts can be more difficult on some caravans due
to the body panels often getting in the way. A wheel wrench with
a telescopic extending handle makes cracking the nuts much easier,
with less chance of grazed knuckles! If the nuts are tight please
remember there are dangers involved in standing on the brace handle.

Be careful!


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